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Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Heatsheet edge reinforcement on 09/09/2009 10:40:46 MDT Print View

> I did this on my early mylar prototypes where I used stake loops (made from tape) rather than grommets.

I was planning loops to stay away from grommets. It can't be pitched quite as close to the ground but that should aid in ventilation, too. Did you not like the loops? I was thinking of something like Scott Van Doeselaar did with his cuben tent.
. I thought the way he did his mesh would work, too.

> I haven't noticed any stretch, but realize that the design of the tent is such that the poles just pull the ridgeline tape tight each time it is pitched.

I was referring to the stretching as you pulled the corners taut (at roughly 45 degrees) to stake.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Stake loops on Space Blanket material on 09/10/2009 07:23:36 MDT Print View

> Did you not like the loops? I was thinking of something like Scott Van Doeselaar did with his cuben tent.

Having now tried both loops and grommets with Space Blanket material, I like the loops better. Scott did a nice job with his cuben tent. Since the maximum stress (and most likely point for a tear) is right at the edge of the material beside the loop, I ran a second 3" strip of tape along the edge to spread the stress. Here is how I made the loops on my Mylar tents.

Space Blanket Stake Loop construction with reinforced tape

To keep the loop from being sticky, I used a 1"x1" piece of tape stuck glue-to-glue in the center of the 3" strip of transparent duct tape forming the loop.

I run the wire stakes right through the loops into the ground. After about a year of use, I have not had any failures ie rips or tears at the stake loops (Knock on wood)

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Stake loops on Space Blanket material on 09/10/2009 09:23:55 MDT Print View

> I run the wire stakes right through the loops into the ground.

The way you stated that makes it sound like you pierce through the tape material in the same spot each time. I had envisioned the stake would go thru the loop created in the tape (where the 1 x 1 piece is) though it would need to be twisted about 90*. It appears you had your's stick out 1/2" from the edge. I was thinking more like 2" so it would be easier to twist without affecting the body so much.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Stake loops on Space Blanket material on 09/11/2009 08:35:07 MDT Print View

Hi Michael,

Sorry. Poor choice of words on my part. Yes the stake goes through the loop created in the tape. And yes this does twist the loop 90 degrees. When I build my next tent I will still leave the loop sticking out just 1/2" but make the loop-tape only 1/2" wide. I haven't had any issue with loop twisting over that short distance on the mylar tent body when using the wire stakes. The wire stakes are only 1/16" in diameter. If you are using fatter stakes that fill up these small loops, then the twist occurs over a much shorter distance and you should consider a longer loop.

My thoughts about sticking out just 1/2" is that this allows me to stake the tent right to the ground if I want to, and if I wanted to stake it higher I can put a cord through the short loop.

If I made the loops 2" long, then I would take away my option to stake a side right to the ground if I needed to.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Stake loops on Space Blanket material on 09/11/2009 09:35:25 MDT Print View

I understand now. Thank you. I agree with your point, too - the 1/2" from the edge does increase your flexibility.

I gather you favor mylar over LDPE (at least for you vs Scouts that may not be as careful). How much noise does it make in the wind?

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Space Blanket tents - Mylar vs LDPE on 09/12/2009 11:07:42 MDT Print View

> I gather you favor mylar over LDPE (at least for you vs Scouts that may not be as careful). How much noise does it make in the wind?

Hi Michael,

After building tents from both, I do like mylar better.
It is as strong as Cuben, just as light, and way cheaper.
By then selectively applying reinforced tape to the inside of the Space Blanket material in high stress areas of a given tent design, it greatly reduces the chance of failures, and allows sewing of the material.

I like having the silver on both sides. It really does keep the tent cooler in the summer by reflecting sunlight. I also really like the one-way mirror effect. Being able to see out through the tent, but others can't see in.

On the negative side mylar is stiffer than LDPE so it is more of a pain to fold. It took me a few tries to learn the trick to fold it back up tightly. The mylar does make a crinkling sound. I never felt it got "loud", but it also never is "silent" (unless there is no breeze at all). I have camped in the mylar tent for a year on scouts outings and no one has ever complained about the sounds the mylar makes. They do complain about the sound of my SNORING.

On the negative side for LDPE. I found out the hard way that if you pack it really tight that the material will show stretch marks from zipper pulls, grommets, and cordage. This is why I have a whole page in my notes about how to fold the LDPE tent to make those three items end up on the outside of the rolled up tent.

On the plus side for LDPE. It is perfectly quiet, and there is almost no chance of it ripping. It will stretch not rip.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Raw edge of noseeum - trim needed? on 09/30/2009 13:07:25 MDT Print View

Al,
Did you do anything to finish the cut edge of noseeum that would lay on the ground?

Have you tried just overlapping the noseeum doors? I was going to try to do away with the zippers.

I have all the materials - now I just need the time to play. ;) I just put out samples of the white heatsheets material and 2 tapes for an extended exposure test.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Raw edge of noseeum - trim needed? on 09/30/2009 21:17:11 MDT Print View

>Did you do anything to finish the cut edge of noseeum that would lay on the ground?

Hi Michael,

I finished the zipper and tent edges of the noseeum, but I left the ground edge unfinished. I had cut it long enough to finish, but found that extra length more useful to tuck up under the floor forming a good bug seal. I see no signs of the noseeum unraveling on the raw edge after many outings (otherwise I would have finished the edge).

> Have you tried just overlapping the noseeum doors? I was going to try to do away with the zippers

Yep. I tried that first. Even mild breezes would "gap" the doors in the middle during the night. Then in would come the flying bugs while I slept.

Next I had the idea of using mini-binder clips to hold the doors closed. I took the edges of the two doors, rolled them into one another, then put three clips along the rolled edge. One at the bottom and two equally spaced along the 42 inches. This idea worked fine for a couple outings until I tested it in really gusty, high wind conditions. A middle clip would pop off when a strong enough wind blew against the noseeum doors.

Before I made doors, I considered just making a noseeum curtain, but when I calculated how much extra material is needed to be able to lift up the curtain to crawl in the tent(about a factor of two), I killed that idea. It would add too much unnecessary weight and size to the folded tent.

So I bit the bullet, went to thru-hiker.com and ordered a roll of #3 coil zipper and double sided pulls. I put the zipper in the middle (rather than the tent edge of the door for two reasons. First, the zipper is shorter (42" vs 56") and thus lighter. Second, the zipper in the middle is easier to get to by either of the two people in the tent. There is no reaching over the other person to get to a zipper along the tent edge. And finally I like the symmetrical design that allowed the doors to be unzipped and the tent body used as a 9'x7.5' tarp.

Tip: When sewing the noseeum to the zipper and tent body, make your stitch length long. I read that in the backpacklight forums and did this when making my tents.

I look forward to winter backpacking with the silvered tents. I found out last winter that they really do feel warmer inside than my Sierra Designs Lightening. And much lighter to boot.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Raw edge of noseeum - trim needed? on 09/30/2009 22:35:41 MDT Print View

> > Have you tried just overlapping the noseeum doors? I was going to try to do away with the zippers

Yes, I overlap mine. But I also put press-studs (snaps) at the overlapping corners to stop the doors flying open when a wind blows. Works well, also keeps the edge of the bathtub floor up.
.
InteriorV8p2.jpg

Cheers

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: overlapping noseeum doors? on 10/01/2009 06:07:32 MDT Print View

Nice looking tent, Roger. I don't think snaps would work well for this as it would limit the flexibility of being able to pitch the "A" at differing heights.

I wonder if a few strips of velcro would work? You'd need just small pieces on one door and the other door would have (mostly) horizontal strips, increasing in length closer to the ground. 4 would probably be enough. Based on Al's diagram, he made it so the tent could be anywhere from 66" to 72" wide (42-45" tall) so the lowest strip would need to be about 6" long.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: overlapping noseeum doors? on 10/01/2009 19:44:04 MDT Print View

> I wonder if a few strips of velcro would work?

Yes, and no.
Yes, it would work, but the hook part of the Velcro rips the hell out of the netting. A right pain.

Cheers

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Homemade tents on 10/02/2009 14:48:22 MDT Print View

Al,
Stores near me don't carry "Extreme Application Packaging Tape" so I looked online ....

I see "Extreme Application Packaging Tape" (8959-RD) and "Premium Extreme Application Packaging Tape" (8959)

Do you know which you used?

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Homemade tents on 10/02/2009 16:10:52 MDT Print View

Any 8959 is the same - just different packaging, length/width, etc. Al used a 1.88" wide roll that he cut in half with an exacto blade.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Homemade tent - materials exposure test on 11/28/2009 12:32:51 MST Print View

>I just put out samples of the white heatsheets material and 2 tapes for an extended exposure test.

FYI, I just brought the samples in after 2 months of being taped onto the red roof of my son's plastic fort. We've had very little freezing weather so far, but I don't expect that would matter much.

The LDPE Heatsheets material - even though quite thin @ 1 mil - didn't show any noticeable signs of deterioration! It didn't matter if the silver or white sides were up.

Both tapes yellowed at least somewhat, and it's obvious the 3M 8959 has less UV resistance than the 3M 2120 that claims to have 6X what "normal" duct tape does. The 8959 lost all its holding properties after maybe a month, while the 2120 still has a little tack left when removed. The 8959 even released from the Heatsheets.

I had planned to have the great majority of tape on the inside of the tent anyway. Unfortunately, I've been so busy with work and fixing up the house, I haven't had time to make a tent let alone go backpacking. :(

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Homemade tent - materials exposure test on 11/28/2009 21:32:55 MST Print View

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the UV tests on the material and two types of tape. It is good to see the LDPE Space Blanket material holds up. I suspect mylar Space Blanket would also hold up well, since NASA wraps it around satellites. UV is much worse in space.

I have a question about the tape tests. Did you have any 8959 on the underside of the Heatsheet? If so did you see lose of holding properties for 8959 not directly exposed to the sun?

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Homemade tent - materials exposure test on 11/29/2009 18:29:37 MST Print View

Al,
Sorry, I didn't think that would be an issue since it wouldn't be directly exposed in that case so I didn't test it. I simple cut 2 9" squares of Heatsheets and taped them down to the roof using the 2 tapes. I had to supplement one edge of 8959 after a month as it gave way from the roof. The 8959 on the other outside edge was totally missing within the past couple days.

I can try another test later once it's spring and we get more direct sun.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: tape UV exposure test on 12/01/2009 19:09:05 MST Print View

Hi Michael,

Thanks to your tests, we know to run the reinforcing tape
on the inside of the tent fabric. As a winter project
I am pondering building a Jay Ham "5 yards to SUL" tarp
using Space Blankets and reinforcing tape -just to see
if this low cost SUL material would work and hold up.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Homemade tent - materials exposure test on 05/31/2010 09:13:35 MDT Print View

> As a winter project I am pondering building a Jay Ham "5 yards to SUL" tarp using Space Blankets and reinforcing tape -just to see if this low cost SUL material would work and hold up.

Al,
Did you manage to get this done?

How is your tent holding up?

Any new advice to share?

I'll FINALLY be building mine in the next month or so to prepare for a Rockies trip later this summer. I'm thinking of going with more of a flat tarp to setup in a half pyramid shape for ease of pitching.

George Geist
(geist) - M

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Aluminized mylar tent body on 05/31/2010 12:01:42 MDT Print View

> How is your tent holding up?

Hi Michael,

Tent is continuing to hold up fine on our regular scout outings since Philmont. I've replaced the ground cloth once, that is about it.

New advice to share... I continue to be amazed at how little condensation this tent design/material has. A similar design tarp I tested made of silinylon had droplets all on the inside of the tent body (overnight with no one in the tarp). I need to set a series of tests that are a bit more elaborate than the ones reported in backpackinglight a few years ago. They used only a small square of several different materials. It was a nice study that found (as I am seeing) that reflective materials had the least condensation of potential tent materials.

I'm also finding, now that it is getting hot here in Tennessee, that the having silver on the outside keeps the interior of the tent noticeably cooler. The tent I made with orange exterior and silver interior is hotter, and my silinylon tent is hottest of the three.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Aluminized mylar tent body on 05/31/2010 13:00:18 MDT Print View

Cool (literally)! I'm hoping the anti-condensation properties are the same for silvered LDPE as it is for mylar. What I have is white on the opposite side so it should be relatively cool as well.